Murphy Center digital billboard, 3 tennis courts make way for Middle Tenn. Blvd. project

WGNS Radio, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, May 18, 2017

This photo illustration from Facebook pays homage to the electronic marquee that until recently stood outside of Murphy Center for three decades. (Photo by Chris Massaro)

Ongoing construction on the Middle Tennessee Boulevard widening project has necessitated the removal of a highly visible campus mainstay in front of Murphy Center.

The electronic billboard that has stood outside of Murphy Center’s official entrance since the mid-1980’s was taken down in recent weeks as construction crews continue upgrades along Middle Tennessee Boulevard.

University planning staff are considering various options for installing updated digital signage on or around Murphy Center in the future. Best alternatives should become clearer as the new streetscape around Murphy progresses toward completion in fall 2018, officials said.

MTSU is also losing part of three outdoor tennis courts during construction, with remaining courts to be back in operation by fall. The university’s tennis court capacity has been supplemented by the Adams Indoor Tennis Complex at Old Fort Park.

Work on upgrades around the President’s House is also progressing. Renovations include a turnaround plaza on the south side of the house and a garden area on the east side. The changes were approved by the Tennessee Historical Commission.

The 30-month, $15.7 million widening project will upgrade the .8-mile section of the thoroughfare between East Main and Greenland Drive. The city of Murfreesboro is overseeing the work.

The project will reconstruct the existing roadway to a consistent four-lane divided street with a landscaped median. It will include bike lanes, improved sidewalks and lighting, new traffic signals, decorative crosswalks, landscaping and underground utilities.

MTSU officials have said they expect at least one lane of traffic will always be open in both directions throughout construction, but access to parking and traffic flow on the roadway will continue to be affected throughout the project.

Pedestrians and motorists are being asked to pay close attention to signs posted along the route, as well as other vehicles and people traveling on foot and by bicycle, to ensure safety. The city is sharing project updates through an interactive online map at as well as via the Twitter account, @MTBlvd.

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